Over at 24 Frames, our sister blog, John Milius, the director and writer of the original “Red Dawn” (as well as the co-writer of “Apocalypse Now” “Jeremiah Johnson” and many other manly-man films) tells Rachel Abramowitz that the upcoming remake of the film is a few rounds short of a full clip.
“I think it’s a stupid thing to do. The movie is not very old,” said Milius, who’s not involved in the new film but was given a chance to read the new script. “It was terrible. There was a strange feeling to the whole thing. They were fans of the movie, so they put in stuff they thought was neat. It’s all about neat action scenes and has nothing to do with story.”
In the original film, the Soviet Union has invaded the continental United States, and a group of young men and women (Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, among others) band together as a guerrilla group, nicknamed the Wolverines, to fight off the occupiers. In the 2010 edition, directed by Dan Bradley and starring Chris Hemsworth and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the villains are the Chinese.
Though the new baddies might tap into American fears about a rising China, to Milius it makes little political sense. “There’s only one example in 4,000 years of Chinese territorial adventurism, and that was in 1979, when they invaded Vietnam, and to put it mildly they got their [butts] handed to them,“ said Milius, noting that China built a wall to separate itself from invaders. “Why would China want us? They sell us stuff. We’re a market. I would have done it about Mexico.”
Oh, and for the record, Milius is no fan of the “Conan the Barbarian” revival talk either, telling Abramowitz: “No one wants their movie remade, especially when the movies take on a life of their own.” Wow, Milius doesn’t hold back does he? Well, this is the guy who put this classic exchange on the page:
Mongol leader: “What is best in life?”
Conan: “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.”
– Geoff Boucher
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Upper photo: Cast members of “Red Dawn” circa 1984. Credit: MGM
Lower photo: “The Losers.” Credit: Warner Bros.